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Clinical Psych PsyD, LOR from nannying


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I didn't get any acceptances last year, from the 3 PsyDs and 5 PhDs I applied to. I'm reapplying this year, to PsyD only. For the schools that I'm applying to for the second time, I don't want all 3 of my LORs to be the same as last year. The only new person who can write me one is the person for whom I nanny. I'm applying for child psych specializations and want to be a clinical child psychologist, so this isn't too far from the field, but it's not clinical work at all. The mom has a graduate degree and writes grant applications for a living, so she'll be able to write a good LOR for me. The problem is, what should she include? She doesn't know anything about my academics (I graduated undergrad in 2018). All she knows is my personality, work ethic, morals, etc. My other two LORs will be from the faculty advisor from the mental health org I worked with for 4 years in undergrad, and my clinical manager from when I was a Registered Behavior Technician with kids who have ASD and related disorders.

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7 hours ago, Psy-aye-aye said:

I didn't get any acceptances last year, from the 3 PsyDs and 5 PhDs I applied to. I'm reapplying this year, to PsyD only. For the schools that I'm applying to for the second time, I don't want all 3 of my LORs to be the same as last year. The only new person who can write me one is the person for whom I nanny. I'm applying for child psych specializations and want to be a clinical child psychologist, so this isn't too far from the field, but it's not clinical work at all. The mom has a graduate degree and writes grant applications for a living, so she'll be able to write a good LOR for me. The problem is, what should she include? She doesn't know anything about my academics (I graduated undergrad in 2018). All she knows is my personality, work ethic, morals, etc. My other two LORs will be from the faculty advisor from the mental health org I worked with for 4 years in undergrad, and my clinical manager from when I was a Registered Behavior Technician with kids who have ASD and related disorders.

Hmm this is interesting, because you do know her in a professional capacity. My gut is telling me that a parent for whom you nanny is not a good choice of a letter writer, but I'm interested to hear what other folks have to say

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@justacigar @PsyDuck90

I know that it’s not ideal, but as I said in my post, she’s the only new person who could write me a LOR. Would you recommend that I reuse all 3 LORs from last year when reapplying to schools, instead of reusing 2 and having a new one from a less desirable recommender? I’m concerned about what admissions officers at my preferred program are going to think if they see that I provided the exact same 3 letters as I did last time. 

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9 hours ago, Psy-aye-aye said:

@justacigar @PsyDuck90

I know that it’s not ideal, but as I said in my post, she’s the only new person who could write me a LOR. Would you recommend that I reuse all 3 LORs from last year when reapplying to schools, instead of reusing 2 and having a new one from a less desirable recommender? I’m concerned about what admissions officers at my preferred program are going to think if they see that I provided the exact same 3 letters as I did last time. 

I don't think it looks bad to use the same letter writers, but you might want to talk with them about what they will say in the letter. Did you give them any guidance about what skills/characteristics you'd like them to highlight? 

And I'm also curious who the third writer was last year!

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Remember they are looking at the whole package and your LORs are just one component. If your letters from last year were good, I wouldn't change them. Theres nothing wrong with reusing LORs from year to year. Even if there was something bad about that, I'm sure programs wouldnt be digging too deep to know if you reused your letters.

 

I would not recommend the letter from the nannying job

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Clinical Psych PhD student here - I would not use a letter from a nanny. From many conversations with faculty, letters are used to demonstrate your research and formalized clinical abilities. While you may have learned a lot about child development, employed clinical skills, etc., I do not think it is in your best interest to use her as a writer. If nannying has really impacted your career choice, you could definitely discuss this in your personal statement though!

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